Newsletter – Citizens for Safe Cycling

Here is Citizens for Safe Cycling’s email newsletter with the annual Family Winter Bike Ride announcement (Item 2). Update: Councillor Fleury will cycle in the parade.

Citizens for Safe Cycling – Ottawa

Ottawa Cycling News – January 2013 issue

** Our Family Winter Bike Ride is Sunday, January 27 at 11 am. See further below **


1 Happy 2013

First of all, we’d like to wish you a happy 2013. There are several good things coming up for cyclists this year, from the opening of the O-train multi-use path and the Airport Parkway cyclist/pedestrian bridge to work on the Hickory Bridge and an extension of the Saw Mill Creek multi-use path. We would like to thank you all for your advocacy support; our membership count has gone up considerably over the past year. We have also seen more cyclists getting involved in the issues that matter in your neighbourhoods. We appreciate it when we are copied more on letters to City Council and we are very happy to see others taking initiatives to promote cycling, such as the bike meeting that took place in Diane Dean’s ward and the fall Plaid Parade.

We were also happy to see Diane Deans (Ward 10, Gloucester-Southgate) announcing at a recent ward Bike Forum that “More people in Gloucester-Southgate would use their bikes if cycling was made safer and improved infrastructure was provided“. We were very pleased to see that Keith Egli (Ward 9, Knoxdale-Merivale) dropped by our AGM (“Wow, that is an impressive turnout“) and that Jan Harder (Ward 3, Barrhaven) tweeted that “Bike stations need 2 be flexible as demand will grow” during the Light Rail Discussion. Cycling is no longer the domain of just councillors Chernushenko, Holmes and Fleury!

 2 Family Winter Bike Parade – January 27, 2013 at 11 am

After a very successful inaugural 2012 winter Bike Parade (our turnout was about 50 people), we are organising a second Family Winter Bike Parade with partners Safer Roads Ottawa and EnviroCentre on Sunday January 27 at 11 am. We’ll meet at the back of City Hall (Lisgar entrance) to go for a short ride. Once again, we will show that winter cycling is possible and that you don’t necessarily have to be a die-hard cyclist to give it a try. Obviously, weather conditions do play a role, so keep an eye on our web site for updates to the route and timing. You can also follow our Twitter account at @CfSC_Ott and our Facebook page: The full route is on our website:

After the ride, Beavertails is sponsoring hot chocolate and coffee in the Rotunda in City Hall (where the reception desk is). Unlike last year, when City Hall was empty, the NCC is also using part of the City Hall space this year.

 3 Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridges

Two weeks ago, the City of Ottawa issued the latest issue of its Cycling in the City online newsletter The city has announced that the Hickory bridge over the O-train has been approved. Connecting to the soon-to-be-finished multi-use path (MUP) along the O-train, this will make a great new piece of cycling infrastructure. The bridge will be wider than originally planned after several advocacy groups (e.g. Citizens for Safe Cycling) pointed out that there will be an increase in bike and pedestrian traffic when the planned new developments around Preston Street are built. And, speaking of bridges, the support columns for the bridge over the Queensway near the VIA train station have been completed and the bridge over the Airport Parkway is near completion.

4 Ontario Cycling Strategy

You will have heard by now that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation is considering to pay more attention to the humble cyclist by putting a draft bicycle policy together. The draft policy is out, which many people dismissed as being without teeth. There are a few days left to send your comments. Do not let this opportunity pass to voice your opinion:

Even if you have just one comment, do share that with the Ministry. It is important that the Ministry hears that you care.

5 Ottawa’s Plaid Parade

We hope you had a chance to watch the roughly-2-minute clip of the well-attended Plaid Parade put together by VeloVogue Here is the link: It has really nice photography.

 6 Bruce Timmermans Award

It is that time of year again: the City put out a call to all of us to submit nominations for the Bruce Timmermans Award 2012 (the nomination is for the previous year). Bruce Timmermans was a long-time cycling educator and advocate , an active member of the Ottawa Bicycle Club and a founding member of Citizens for Safe Cycling. Bruce worked tirelessly to promote cycling and safety for cyclists. His legacy lives on through the awards program created by the City of Ottawa to recognize individuals and organizations committed to cycling in our community. Read the details here: Deadline March 1st.

Membership – support cycling

Running Citizens for Safe Cycling costs lots of volunteer time but also some money. We need to pay for a small office and storage, insurance, hosting services and promotional materials. You can become a member for as little as $10 (low income) and receive our complimentary bike seat cover, which is made here in Ottawa from sturdy vinyl and surplus nylon by Citizens for Safe Cycling member Peter Brebner. Sign up to become a member; your membership also shows your support for cycling improvements in Ottawa.

What we are working on today

7 Winter Cycling Network

Many of us would like to cycle in winter, but the reality is that it is treacherous in many places. Over the next years, we will keep bringing a wintertime spine cycling network to the attention of council and staff.

8 Improved Experimental Farm Access

The Experimental Farm is a cyclist’s heaven, apart from the fact that the roads/paths are only partly maintained in winter. Citizens for Safe Cycling started a conversation with the Farm to look for better accessibility when the gates are closed as well as improved winter cycling. On March 7, we will give a first presentation to Agriculture Canada. There are over 30,000 people living immediately south of the Farm; areas that are less than 5-10 km from destinations like Civic Hospital, Carleton U, down town and Tunney’s Pasture.

 9 Opening Sparks Street for Cyclists

Sparks Street BIA has hired Les Gagné to improve the street. There have been some modest changes. We think that–as in many other cities in the world–cycling could be a positive addition to the outdoor mall. We are encouraging Sparks Street planners to consider opening it up for cycling. Obviously, this won’t be a commuter route or racing track, and we think cyclists are responsible enough to adjust their speeds. And in all fairness, we have seen Bixi cyclists on Sparks, blissfully unaware that it is not allowed, and no one bothered them.

 10 Annual report for 2012/Advocacy

We have started working on our second annual report on the state of commuter and recreational cycling in Ottawa. This inventory of data, improvements and wish lists was well received last year and serves as a reference for those searching for bike-related information.

 11 Spring.Ottawa.Bike Summit 2013

Our annual summit is planned around the weekend when spring arrives. We’ll keep you informed about the details and the speakers.

12 Tulips on Two Wheels 2013

Our May 2012 event was very successful. That is why we are going to do it again. Many people appreciated talking to us while having their bikes tuned up. This event raises awareness of properly functioning equipment, especially brakes.

So what do you think?

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